Saturday 6 November 2010

Getting rid of facebook group emails, beautifully


Like many others, after being irritated by facebook's constant emails for every post on a group I am a member of, I made Group Email Digest (facebook page) application which sends me the daily summary of posts on a group. The applications sends out one email per day per group. The first version of the app launched was pretty simple and had some basic bugs which restricted the use of the application. The latest release of the app (the app is still in beta) has fixed those bugs and paved way for more interesting features in the applications.

Here is a brief summary of bugs fixed, bugs not fixed and things on my mind (to show up in later releases). For a complete and updated detail of issues, visit the bug tracker page.

UPDATE
The bug related to closed/secret group's emails not being trigged has been fixed.

Resolved Bugs/ Issues
  1. Blank Email/Text: A blonde had three swimming pools. One had cold water, the other had warm water and there was no water in the third pool. When asked about the third pool, she said.. well, sometimes I don't feel like swimming. :-) The Group Email Digest app used to send out blank emails, when there had been no recorded activity. This has been fixed, and now, no emails are send if there is no activity.
    Likewise, if there were only links shared, videos posted, images uploaded onto the group, there was a similar blank text coming up. This has been alternated by message, description and caption in that order.
  2. Digest Emails not generating: For few old group's, the emails were not being triggered. I found this out to be a version change issue on facebok front, and maintaining the compatibility, this has been fixed. The emails for all groups shall be triggering starting Nov 06
  3. URLs for old groups not coming properly: The URLs for old facebook groups were not formatted appropriately. This resulted in the clicks taking user to facebook home page instead of taking to the group page. This issue has been fixed.

Unresolved Bugs/Issues
The following issues remain unresolved as of now.
  1. Time Zone: All the emails are triggered just after 00:15 hrs UTC. This should ideally be 00:15 hrs User Time Zone. I am looking for a resource efficient method for this, and hopefully should get this fixed soon.
  2. Closed/Private Group Emails not trigerring: I am experimenting with delivering digest emails from closed/private group to its members in a resource efficient manner, and hopefully should arrive at some conclusion soon.

Things in my mind
The following features you should hope to see in near future.
  1. Localization: You should see the mail in the language of your choice, right? So, very soon, you will receive emails and all the text will be localized based on the information we obtain about you from your facebook account.
  2. Activity Graphs: Wanna know how active is a group? Very soon, you will be able to see a graphical visual of the activity taking place in the groups you are a member of.
  3. Group Suggestions: Want to do more exiting talks to people of your interests? Group suggestions will be telling you about new active groups based on your taste.

Did I miss a feature? Suggest features for Group Digest App here.

Saw a bug/issue/concern? Report it here.

Follow @groupdigestapp on twitter.

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